It has become increasingly evident that the recent election along with the events and occurrences leading up to it have left our country in shambles. We are likely the most divided nation we’ve been in decades, the media continually pushes ulterior agendas through biased reporting, and racial and ideological tensions are at an unprecedented high. Immediately following the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, on January 21st, hundreds of thousands across the nation united at numerous different marches to have their voices heard, with the predominant march in Washington D.C. However, with values that are quite contrary to those exhibited at the Women’s March, thousands upon thousands of pro-life advocates descended upon the nation’s capital for the annual March For Life on Friday, January 27th. As the recent marches in Washington clearly illustrate, there are profoundly contrasting views held by millions of Americans, and these events have only fueled our nation’s ideological differences. It is important to note that I do not oppose dissenting opinions or views. In fact, I embrace them wholeheartedly. However, comparing the two recent marches, their participants, and the values represented in them is of paramount significance.
Although there may have been an outward façade of championing women’s rights, the Women’s March on Washington certainly had underlying ideological motives. According to Wikipedia, the goals and incentives of the march were “Protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country”. In addition to that, issues such as “women’s rights, LGBT rights, gender equality, worker rights, immigration reform, health care reform, and environmental protection” were apparently central to the march’s core values.However, I contend that their values truly do not represent those, and if they do, many of them are misleading or patently false. By women’s rights, they are primarily referring to abortion. But since when is abortion a women’s rights issue? Since when should someone have the “right” to take another’s life? What about the millions of girls that are stripped of their right to life through abortion each year? Since when do we selectively choose which women’s rights we defend and which ones we oppose? I urge everyone to see the sheer hypocrisy in this. They champion their defense for women and their rights, but they vehemently oppose those who defend those who cannot defend themselves. Secondly, what are the women trying to achieve? They have the same amount of rights guaranteed by law in this country, and to take away these unalienable rights would be reprehensible and unthinkable. Another value represented y the march would be standing with Planned Parenthood. This goes hand in hand with the abortion view, but there is also another thing they are missing. The government should only have very limited funding to companies and organizations, let alone funding the biggest abortion provider in the nation. Even if what Planned Parenthood was doing was commendable (which is ludicrous and absurd to grant), the government should not fund such an organization at all.
Again, I see very little reason to march for LGBT rights. Granted, as a right-leaning libertarian, I hold the position that the government should not and cannot legislate what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their homes. However, Trump did not run on a platform that would infringe upon the rights of LGBT citizens. That simply will not happen. Another apparent value represented by the Women’s march would be gender equality. Of course, as a rational human being, I maintain the position that women and men are equal both in worth and under the law. However, there is not much inequality in the United States. The wage gap advocates often appeal to a study that used misleading techniques that skewed the results (see our post about the Wage Gap). Also, perfectly valid statistics can be cited from both sides of the issue. Some would contend that men are actually the ones who are victims, citing statistics such as homicide victims, suicide victims, child custody, rape claims, and more. However, that is certainly not my point. My point is that marching for gender equality, although sounding beneficial, is both unreasonable and futile. Compared to other values represented by the march, one has gone largely unnoticed; Muslim women’s rights in the United States. Again, although there may be a stigma behind Muslim citizens within the United States, their rights are protected under the law. So why do these marchers turn a blind eye to Muslim women who are actually oppressed in the Middle East? Many of them are seen as property, subordinate to their men, punished for being victims of rape, and cannot speak publicly. However, it was evident that this was not the marchers’ concern. They were marching to protect American Muslims. Finally, I would like to call to attention the personal values of the participants. The amount of unsavory and even pornographic signs, costumes, and language used at the March for Life was vastly outnumbered by the amount at the Women’s March. Admittedly, because the number of civil and upstanding marchers at the women’s march outnumbered the others greatly, the actions of the few, in this case, should not represent the whole. Nonetheless, compared to the March for Life, it was drastically worse.
The aforementioned values stand in stark contrast to those represented at the March for Life. The core values of the March for Life were placing an emphasis on supportive families, defending the defenseless, speaking for those without a voice to speak for themselves, and defending life at all costs. Thousands were praying to end abortion, with others advocating for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. The sanctity of human life was the core value, the central tenet of the March for Life. While the Women’s march advocated for the destruction of life, the March for Life advocated equally for the preservation of it. As Vice President Mike Pence rightly put it, “Life is winning again in America!”
In conclusion, I think it is wonderful that people are exercising their first amendment rights with the goal in mind to cause change. Members of both sides of the spectrum should aim their efforts toward communicating, not shouting, with each other, using civil discourse and reasoned arguments, supported by evidence and logic. However, the contrasting values represented by both marches should definitely be considered, especially given the current state of our union.
Author: Joseph Schmid
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“2017 Women’s March.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Women’s_March#cite_note-3
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